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Tokaido Road inspection station
BooksellerStreet VendorGuardMonkRoninSamurai WomanTeaseller

Checkpoint on the Tokaido Road

A checkpoint on the Tokaido Road.


To maintain security, the Tokugawa Shogunate issued tight travel controls and restrictions. Along the Tokaido Road and other major routes, government guards were stationed at checkpoints. Commoners' documents were carefully reviewed with officials on the look-out for smugglers attempting to bring guns into Edo, and women (sometimes disguised as boys) trying to escape—daimyo wives and daughters were required to remain in Edo when the daimyo went back to their domains.

With only a few guards to check passports and permits, government inspections slowed traffic considerably on the Tokaido Road. Daimyo processions, which could involve as many as several thousand men, were not usually examined. Women received heightened scrutiny at checkpoints, and were often subject to physical examination.

Top and left: Checkpoints on the Tokaido Road/Tokaido Hiroshige Museum
Right: Guard/Goldfarb-Plug-In

Inspecting a cart

On the Tokaido Road
View scenes from the Tokaido Road

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